Some people spend so much time trying to find someone, that they forget that the process of dating can actually be fun. Even worse, some people start to get so burned out from dating that they end up hating the whole process. “Dating burnout is a lot like job burnout." Esther Boykin, licensed love and relationship therapist, tells Bustle. "What was once fun and exhilarating has become exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming. Over the course of normal dating, people will experience moments of frustration or exhaustion, but when those feelings become the primary response to even the idea of a date, burnout has definitely set in.”
And that's when it's time for a break. Well, ideally you'll take a break before the burnout even sets in, because you don't need to become that frustrated and annoyed before you decide to take a step back. As soon as you're starting to think of dating as a chore — or if it feels like a full-time job — you should take a break. It may be a little one or a long one, but just make sure you take a break until the idea of dating seems exciting and enticing again. You may not realize you need it, but there are so many benefits to putting dating on hold, even if it's just for a bit.
You Can Tend To What You've Neglected
Dating takes time. A lot of time. I have friends who go on multiple first dates a week— and I don't see those friends very much, because their dating lives keep them busy. There's nothing wrong with prioritizing dating if that's important to you and you're enjoying it, but taking a break can get you back in touch with everyone else.
You Can Remember There's A Life Outside Of Dating
"Breaks teach us that there is more to life and there is more to ourselves than dating and finding ‘The One’," Park says. "Yes it's great to share your life with someone but flowing through one prospect after the other isn't quite the same thing."
Spend some time with your favorite hobbies and discovering new ones. Travel. See that there are totally amazing things can happen that have nothing to do with dating.
You'll Start To Love Yourself Again
With all your focus on the idea of someone else being in your life, you can forget that you are amazing and brilliant all on your own. “A break should be as long as it needs to be for you to fall back in love with yourself or fall in love with yourself for the first time," Park says. "You can establish a contentment in life when you love who you are inside and out. Take the time you need to become the partner you want to be and make room for the partner you wish to attract."
And remember that you don't need to be with anyone, because you are enough. If you end up with someone, it's because you want to be with them, not because you have to be.
It Can Make Dating Seem Fun Again
Dating is supposed to be fun, but it shouldn't feel like work. And if you take a break, the idea of meeting someone should start to actually feel exciting again. You'll know when you're ready to end your dating detox when you start to like the idea of swiping and going out again. Then you can get back in the game.
More Money And Fewer Problems
Dating. Is. So. Freaking. Expensive. And you know how much you resent spending 40 bucks on a date that you aren't even enjoying because you think it would be rude to leave early? No more of that. You can save money— or spend it on something you actually love (like yourself).
You Can Get Some Short Term Goals Together
The things that you really want to accomplish shouldn't change whether or not you're in a relationship. And when you're not dating, you can be honest about what you want out of life. Set up a year plan or a five year plan when you're really focusing on you— and stick to it when you end your dating detox.
You Can Read A Damn Book
If all your time has been taking up on dating, you may have let self- improvement and self care go out the window. But it's so important. Whatever makes you feel better — reading, signing up for a new running race, learning a new language, making time to meditate — it doesn't matter. Just use the time to focus on what makes you feel better and more fulfilled.
You Can Travel Solo
Take advantage of the time when you're single and don't have any dating obligations to go to those places you always wanted to visit. You have the extra time, you may have some extra money, so it's the perfect opportunity to take advantage and spend some quality time with yourself.
Taking a dating detox can be just as important as the time you spend looking for someone. If you've lost that exciting, butterfly feeling about going on dates then it's time let yourself off the hook for a while — and let that feeling come back.